Jamaican News

Police Lauded For Reducing Fatal Shootings

National Security Minister, Hon. Robert Montague, has lauded the police for complying with the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) regulations and Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) use of force policy, which has resulted in fewer fatal shootings.

Citing INDECOM statistics, Mr. Montague said there has been a notable decline in fatal shootings by the police over the last six years.

“In fact, there has been a significant reduction in fatal shootings between 2013 and 2014, with a 55 per cent reduction, and a further reduction in 2015 resulting in a 60 per cent downturn when matched against the 2013 figures,” he said.

The Minister was addressing the final day of the three-day INDECOM Use of Force in Law Enforcement Conference on June 2. The forum was held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.

Mr. Montague said that for 2014, 19 persons from the security forces were charged for murder, noting that this number fell to five in 2015.

He said the figure was further reduced to four in 2016 adding that since the start of 2017, only three police officers have been charged.

“Indeed there has been a notable decline in suspicious fatal shootings by the security forces and my commendations to INDECOM and to the police,”   he said.

The Minister said these and other statistics emphasised that INDECOM was enhancing the JCF’s work. This, he added, dispelled misconceptions that INDECOM was impeding the police in carrying out their duties.

Meanwhile, Mr. Montague advised that the National Security and Local Government and Community Development Ministries have reached an agreement that stipulates the construction police posts or installation of closed circuit television systems in housing developments with over 400 units being undertaken.

“So as persons make their applications to the local municipal authorities, this will now be a condition of approval,” he said.

The Minister emphasized that this was necessary consequent on the number of housing developments being constructed without developers taking into account some of the critical infrastructure, such as adequate security features, that were needed.

Mr. Montague said the decision was part of his Ministry’s Five Pillar Crime Strategy regarding situational prevention. This relates to measures that reduce the opportunities for crimes through spatial intervention.

The conference was staged with support from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, United States Embassy and United Nations office in Jamaica.

The forum was staged to draft a model use of force policy for Caribbean security forces; encourage implementation or improvement of legislation and policies regarding use of force by Caribbean security forces; provide information regarding use of force in upgraded training programmes; and assist supervisors and oversight institutions in their scrutiny of the use of force.

Article by: Chad Bryan
Photo from: www.jis.gov.jm

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